Nonda App Update Brings Crypto Currency Mining Features…. Is This A Problem?

A reader tipped me off to an app update to the Nonda app that rolled out in the last 24 hours. As part of the release notes, it says that there are “additional features for you to discover.”


That got his attention and he started to look around the app. That’s when he came across this:


It appears that there are crypto currency mining features that are now present in the app as of this update, or one before it. Now if you’re not familiar with the concept of crypto currency mining, there’s a Forbes article that I’ve linked to that will fully explain it. But in short, mining crypto currency requires the use of CPUs. Sometimes other people’s CPUs. And sometimes it may be done with or without your permission. For example, the recent case of cryptojacking where going to a specially crafted webpage enlists your computer to mine crypto curruency without your permission. That of course is bad.

The reader then clicked on the “?” to get more info, and he got this:


Clearly Nonda hasn’t got any documentation on this which is a #Fail. But here’s what’s worse. This feature appears to have been partially turned on by default based on the fact that it selected a mining device all by itself. But it needs you to press the “Start Mining” button to make anything happen. He figured that out because he clicked on “Close All Mining Data” at the bottom of the screen and he got this:


So, what what does all this mean?

I do not think that Nonda is up to anything nefarious as you have to click “Start Mining” for it to actually mine anything. But in the absence of any documentation that says what this feature does, there’s enough here that may get the attention of users in a negative way. And their cute entry in their release note of “additional features for you to discover” doesn’t help with that at all. Nonda would do itself a huge favor by coming completely clean about what this feature is and how it works. Because if they don’t they really risk eroding the trust that users of Nonda products have with the company.

So how about it Nonda?

UPDATE: Further confirmation that the Nonda app selects a mining device by default can be found in this screenshot:


By default, it selects the mileage trip and battery voltage options to give it the mining power of 60 that you see at the top of the screen. When you click on “Close Mining Data”, it de-selects those options.

UPDATE #2: There is now a FAQ that speaks to this. It says in part:

You might notice that there is a CarBlock Token page after the latest app update 6.2.7 and wonder what it is. This page may help you to understand this feature better. 

CarBlock Token is the rewards that we provide to every customer. You need to have a ZUS car charger to activate the feature and it would give you income when you drive your car using the charger.  There would be a variety kinds of factors that affect your daily CarBlock Token income.  

So basically, the company is giving you a way to mine crypto currency. I suppose that’s cool. But their rollout of this feature sucks because at least one person was bothered enough by it to reach out to me. And I in turn posted this story. Nonda really needs to handle this sort of thing better going forward.

UPDATE #3: A reader pointed out that there is no privacy policy in regards to this. Nor is there any info on how your data might used or shared. #Fail


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